The Small Firms Association (SFA) has published policy paper entitled, ‘Moving the economy forward after COVID-19’.
It highlights the growing concern amongst small businesses that more needs to be done by Government to support them.
Planning needs to begin now to ensure that the business reboot is felt across the country, throughout the economy, and that its impact is sustainable and job-rich, the SFA says.
National chair Graham Byrne says: “Unprecedented steps have been taken in recent weeks to shield small businesses from the devastating impacts of COVID-19 through a range of supports and initiatives.
“However, until circumstances return to normal, it is vital that additional cash-flow and liquidity measures are introduced that will allow small firms to survive and bounce back.
“For small businesses to recover, they need a cash grant to enable them to meet current outgoings, 100% relief on business rates for the remainder of 2020, and VAT deferral for the next two quarters.”
To further meet the liquidity crisis, the SFA says €2 billion should be made available through the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland for low interest-rate investment and working capital loans to impacted businesses.
Small businesses – including those that were forced to close. as well as those that are remaining open, but suffering a significant loss of income – should be able to access COVID-19 cash-flow and liquidity measures as quickly and efficiently as possible, the SFA states.
It has called for debt forgiveness and tax changes to support investment, consumer spending, and job creation across the country.